It seems that the insatiable greed of America's capitalist, money-based society has tainted even the innocent realm of crystal collecting. Finding collector-worthy crystals in high abundance isn't easy, and when you do the supply is still finite. So, what does a business owner who makes his living off of selling a limited supply of visually appealing crystals do to make money? They make fake crystals.
The term "Fake Crystals" is contextual. Technically, you can create crystals with a kit or in a lab. In relation to this article, "Fake Crystals" refers to the many ways in which gem dealers will try to bamboozle the people. I'm pretty sure everyone's heard of a dyed crystal, but it seems that the hogwash doesn't really end there. Giving crystals more vibrant colors, regardless of the method, undeniably increases its retail value. Although, coloring crystals is nothing like taking a mineral and selling it as something that it's not. Either way, this leads me to my first installment of F A K E C R Y S T A L S
TRADE NAMES let's start off with Pulga Jade. This crystal does hold a somewhat special place in my heart on account of its locality being just a short drive north of my hometown. Pulga Jade is a basic calcium magnesium aluminum silicate found in Northern California and parts of Italy. The mineral forms as a result of Limestones that go through contact metamorphism. Now, any Geology aficionado should recognize at this point, that Pulga Jade isn't really Jade. It turns out that it's a variety of Idocrase known as Californite. On account of its resemblance to the popular Chinese import, it was given the name "Jade" to jack up selling prices back in the day. Wack amirite? Selling minerals under different names is a common problem you run into when you deal in crystals, but there are a lot of ways to ensure what you have is legit
(like our Turquoise blog)
Humans have been utilizing heat to increase the quality of things since we first became humans really. I mean, I like hot food at least. But, did you know that the quality of certain crystals can also be enhanced with just a little heat? Take Citrine for example. Citrine is the yellowish to orange variety of Quartz. But, not all Citrines are created naturally. It turns out that when you subject a low grade Smoky Quartz or Amethyst to an intense amount of heat, the mineral inclusions inside the stone rearrange themselves to give you a much brighter color! Some view this form of treatment as nothing but a continuation of the process that could have possibly occurred naturally. Some see it as nothing but a way to sell cheap inventory. But honestly its whatever helps you sleep at night
Okay, personally, I think that this method is the absolute shadiest and worst way to try to sell a crystal. Painted rocks are at least a display of art that utilizes a natural canvas, dyed rocks are a cheap, efficient way to screw people out of their money. This method of swindling typically preys on more porous crystals or clusters that form with slight amounts of space between crystal growths. After that its easy, either drop some dye right on there or soak it in a bucket of lies. The colors that come out really are quite vibrant and cool to look at. Yet, a lot of Rock Shops will not tell you whether or not a crystal has been dyed. (we don't carry that stuff) This pattern of deceit tricks people into buying crystals that are either boring or cheap for more than they are worth. All around bad vibes, I'm not about it 0/10
In conclusion, despite my attitude for the majority of this blog post, I don't believe treated or dyed crystals are an inherently bad thing. In fact, my #1 recommendation for people who collect is always to pick out whatever you like, regardless of any opposition or reason. If a crystal is cool AND treated that doesn't make it mean any less to you. But yeah man, they're about as real as Bigfoot